Posted in Features, News on Jan 20, 2023.
Those two words alone are enough to send Kaizer Chiefs fans into raptures.
Thabo Mooki etched his name into Kaizer Chiefs folklore, winning numerous titles with the Club between 1994 and his retirement in 2009 wherein the dynamic midfielder was often at the forefront of Chiefs successes.
He also had some memorable outings against Sundowns and is one of Chiefs' joint top scorers in this fixture.
“I always enjoyed playing against Daniel Mudau and other very skilful players that Sundowns had”, Mooki reflects, looking back fondly as he recalls his clashes against the Brazilians, “Sundowns were a big team back then even though we had a rivalry with Pirates, they were extremely competitive to play against.".
He feels that this game brought the best out of him and his teammates, because they took the challenge head-on.
“We used to get together and sit with each other and talk once the coach had given us his instructions. We took the coach’s instructions and spoke about how we would make the plan work, as well as what we will do to make sure that we can make it work for us and get the win”.
The midfield maestro scored five goals against Sundowns during his career for Chiefs and on the reason as to why he enjoyed scoring against them, says "I used to talk to players from Sundowns before the game and they were adamant they would defeat us, that was what drove me.”
Thabo and a certain Sundowns goalie had a special rivalry in the build-up to these games, as the mind games began ahead of the game.
"As opposition players we used to talk and say that John Tlale could not see and took advantage of that fact, I always joked with him about that,” he smiles.
Yet he knew that when Sundowns were the opposition, he would have to raise his game, a challenge he relished.
It was always exciting to play against Sundowns, especially when you feel that they are your weakest link, and you play at your best. In terms of preparation and mental focus, I used to be ready for them. That was one team I used to like playing against them,” he says.